U.S. calls for investigation of Cuban dissident Paya's death

New York, Aug 7 (EFE).- The new U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, asked Cuban authorities to launch a "credible" investigation into the death of dissident Oswaldo Paya, diplomats told Efe Wednesday.

That is the request Power made of Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez at a luncheon that Argentine President Cristina Fernandez offered for the delegations who participated in the Security Council debate.

"Oswaldo Paya stood up for freedom. Just raised with the Cuban Foreign Minister the need for a credible investigation into his death," Power said in a Twitter post.

Paya, the leader of the Christian Liberation Movement, and companion Harold Cepero, died on July 22, 2012, when the car they were riding in - driven by Angel Carromero, a leader of the Popular Party's New Generations movement in Spain - hit a tree.

Cuban authorities presented the incident as a single-car accident caused by excessive speed, a version rejected by the Paya family, given that - among other things - Carromero told Rosa Maria Paya, the daughter of the Cuban opposition figure, that a vehicle rammed their car from behind prior to the crash.

The Paya family says that the accident was caused by Cuban government agents, who used another vehicle to ram the one in which the two Cuban opposition figures, Carromero and another man were riding in eastern Cuba.

Paya was one of internal dissidence movement leaders best known outside Cuba and the first to be awarded the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought by the European Parliament in 2002.